Anyone done this in Cape Town?

I live in Plumstead, which is quite a tough place to garden.

Anyone that you know of tried to plant a Miyawaki forest in Cape Town? I'm tempted to give it a shot, but we don't have much space.

Gosh, it's quite onerous posting on your blog!

Comments for Anyone done this in Cape Town?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Feb 19, 2021
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Let's just do it ?
by: Caroline

Dear Plumsteader !

The reason I wrote about the Miyawaki method, was the SPEED which it takes to establish, namely ten years. I think it gives hope. We'd all like to see a change in our lifetimes, but unfortunately the natural forest recovery process takes one to three hundred years according to Sharma. He is talking about other areas of the world, predominantly in India. Some tropical, some very dry and some very wet. I did an online forest planting project management course with Sharma. I went to UN startup workshops to try and raise funds, I've been putting the idea out there for so long.

My mom has done a lot of planting in the forest and participated in an indigenous tree nursery. From her observations, my one concern is that the Miyawaki method provides a way too nutrient rich environment. Our trees are adapted to low nutrient levels in our famously ancient leached soils at the Cape. However. For reasons too complex to go into here, the Miyawaki method may also succeed wonderfully at the Cape.

The stumbling block to doing a project on my own so that I could find out, was the dense planting and money needed for the work and the huge number of trees needed. So I started a tree nursery in my backyard. I offered my trees for years, hoping to find someone who had the land to build the forest. Now eventually I have two takers, but its not for dense planted mini forests, its for verges. There just isn't enough depth on a verge to get the critical mass for a really functional forest ecosystem.

I could write a book justifying why we need forests. Most of my theory comes from reading. In a nutshell, the Cape was not all fynbos in the past. It was a vegetation patchwork of open and canopied areas. The only theory that is my own is that I believe the ancient forests of the Cape along the rivers, and on the mountains, actually supported the fynbos and were a vital ingredient of its health.

This support of other types of vegetation by tiny forests or mini forest pockets can be translated to mixing forest and other food growing useful vegetation. I learned in permaculture (PDC) that the more edge (between vegetation types) that you have, the more productive the whole system is. Agroforestry that mixes trees and other crop plants is extremely productive when well designed.

In history agroforestry is also a stayer. Growing annual crops eventually leads to desertification in marginal zones like the Cape. But some man made food forests in the Sahara have lasted for hundreds of years. All around the world the cultures which mixed trees and smaller food plants kept their soil and ecology healthy. If you want to grow MORE FOOD and PERMANENTLY, a mixed system like this is the answer.

Then why oh why is conventional farming, wide spacing, weeding and so on so absolutely dominant in farming ? It is all about having a good product. The size of the vegetable and the tons of one vegetable off an acre are the measure of success.

In a close planted forest like garden, the individual vegetable may be smaller than a vegetable planted in an open field surrounded by lots of space and bare soil. However, from the whole system, the yield of the close planted agroforest polyculture is higher. The problem is that harvesting is easier to mechanize in a flat open field. The farmers have set the tone, and most people apply the same principles in their private vegetable gardens.

I can't cite here, this is based on four years of reading from so many sources I can't remember them individually. But if you want some proofs and voices which back mine, just ask.

So all of this said. I've waited a long long time for someone else who wanted to build a mini forest. I would gladly help you with the project. I will not charge you for my knowledge and time. I just want to do it. I can get you access to seed collecting permits and help you grow the trees. I am sourcing free organic material anyway, for other reasons. I can help you with that. In three years or less you should be ready to build the Miyawaki style forest. it will be the first in South Africa. It may start a revolution, a movement, or a business. Who knows.

Kindest regards
Caroline

Feb 18, 2021
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
MIYAWAKI METHOD IN CAPE TOWN ?
by: Caroline

Dear Plumsteader

I apologize about the difficulty of posting on my blog. Thank you for your question. I do not know of anyone who has applied the method in Cape Town. You could be the first to try. Shubhendu Sharma applies the Miyawaki method on many projects. He says that ten by ten meters is enough. He built his first forest in his back garden. Ten by ten meters will require 500 saplings.

Please let me know if you decide to try it.

Caroline

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Please give me comments and questions.

Privacy policy

SEARCH


Check out our selection of ecological designs printed on T-shirts, accessories and decor items. The designs are about soil regeneration, indigenous Cape wild flowers, wild African animals and other fauna, as well as bible quotes and geometric patterns.



Our New Book  

DIY Grey Water Wetland

Build your own system and grow fruit and vegetables with your dish water and other waste water at home

Order the Kindle E-book for the SPECIAL PRICE of only

$7.95




Recent Articles

  1. Ms Kim-Marie Fisser

    Jul 09, 21 05:37 AM

    I'm just blown away by yr article. I've only recently discovered the term 'lawn tapestry' & indeed,info on the subject. I'm extremely excited by the whole

    Read More

  2. Kei apple growth

    Jun 28, 21 02:48 AM

    I bought a few kei apple tree planting next to my boundery wall as a hedge. How long does it take to grow and what can i do to speed up the growth.

    Read More

  3. Thank you!

    Jun 13, 21 07:59 AM

    Thanks very much for this article, definitely the most detailed one I found after an extensive search online AND through a library of plant books too!

    Read More




How to make

$ -MONEY - $

with earthworms

The Book 

"How to start a profitable worm business on a shoestring budget 

Order a printed copy from "Amazon"  at the SPECIAL PRICE of only

$8.95

or a digital version from the "Kindle" store at the SPECIAL PRICE of only

$4.54




BLUE GARDEN FLOWER ALBUM 

HOW TO CONTROL FRUITFLIES

How to make good Compost.

HOW TO MAKE GOOD COMPOST



Worms Recycle Dog Poop